AT A TAVERN in Longview in the 1980s, a young woman from Thailand was cooking food way too bland for her own taste.
Vilailuck Teigen had moved with then-husband Ron to Washington state, where they bought Porky’s Tavern (“I think it’s still there!”) in his hometown. She helped the cook with “French fries, hamburgers — you know. The bar food. That’s how I learned to cook American food,” she says.
“Then I added in my spring rolls.”
At $1 apiece, “a lot of money back then,” she was soon preparing 200 to 300 at a time. She picked up the